Reflection: I’ve been thinking recently that I wouldn’t mind being listless for a while. I don’t mean in the traditional sense of the word: lethargic, apathetic, or weary. Nor do I mean without a list of things to do – although that would be welcome on occasion.
What I’m actually referring to is the proliferation of lists that circulate on social media and grace the covers of books and magazines everywhere. Here are a few recent examples:
- 14 Things You Should Do On Your Lunch Break Every Day
- 17 Things Extremely Happy People Say Every Day
- 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently
- 22 Quick Habits to Add To Your Daily Morning Routine
- 30 Things To Start Doing For Yourself – or its sister list: 30 Things To Stop Doing To Yourself
Add ‘em up. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
I know these lists are published with the best of intentions – mostly to energize or inspire. And I grant you there is valuable advice in many of them. Heck, I’ve even created a few of these types of lists myself.
But here’s my challenge. When I spend too much time paying attention to these lists, I find myself in Tower of Pisa mode – tilted and off balance. I feel less effective and more inadequate because I’m not doing more or behaving differently.
You, too, might find yourself listing just a tad under the weight of what the advice aggregators believe we could or should be doing.
Action: With all these voices whispering instructions in your ear and putting ideas in your head, it’s hard to hear the one still quite voice that counts the most. That would be your own.
The next time you find yourself listing from too much advice and too many options, toss the magazine, close the book, and switch off the net. Listen to yourself instead.
Half the time you already know quite a bit about problems you may be facing and may even have an inkling or two about how to deal with them. The other half the time, you might well have been quite content with your current status quo, before someone pointed out a shortcoming you weren’t even experiencing.
At the risk of adding more advice to the mix (how ironic), I encourage you to follow your hunch, nix the noise, and tune in your muse.
Quotes Of The Week: Cultivate the serenity that lies beyond words. – Karen Casey.
Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake. – Wallace Stevens.
It’s a very powerful thing to be quiet and collect your thoughts. – Susan Cain
Resource Of The Week: Your mind unlimited and unlisted.
Sometime this week, have a heart to heart talk or walk with yourself.
No companions, No ear buds. No podcasts. No distractions.
Just you, yourself and no one but you.
Readers Write: In response to the recent message, What’s Truly Essential In Your World, Pause reader TH writes: Thank you for this newsletter. When I find it in my inbox, it is the first thing I read when I arrive at work. It often helps me set the tone for the day!
I appreciate the idea that everything cannot be a priority, and the notion of looking at the life you want to live making sure that all the things you say yes to align with that. A good guide for living a good life.
Tags: advice, appreciation, attitude, burnout, focus, health, inspiration, learning, motivation, overload, overwhelm, Pat Katz, Patricia Katz, pause, perspective, productivity, Saskatoon, speaker, stress, success, wellness, workload